"Precisely my point. How do we run a successful country if Nigerians no longer care who it is that is in public office on their behalf?"
"So what has this Fidelia woman done to you, that you want her out of office? Are you consulting for one of the aviation sector unions, because I smell a rat? How can you just wake up and start campaigning against another man's wife?"
"I am talking about how goats took over the runway of the Bauchi airstrip under her watch?"
"Come off it. It is not the duty of a Minister to chase goats off the runway. To the best of my knowledge, there is no nomadic content to her job description. And this is not a Fidelia Njeze problem. She is Minister of Aviation, yes, but she didn't send the goats to the runway, and in any case, this is not the first time that this has happened. In 2006, an Air France aircraft ran into a herd of cows on the runway of the Port Harcourt airport. You didn't call for the head of the Minister of Aviation then. A few years earlier, another aircraft nearly ran into human beings on the runway. I also recall that someone once drove a car through a security gate onto the runway and crashed into an aircraft. This is Nigeria. This is Nigeria. Anything can happen. And things happen."
"Meaning what? Does that mean when people do not do their jobs, we should not criticize them because inefficiency and underperformance have become national modes?"
"If you ask me, I will like to know what happened to the goat meat. The goats died instantly. Fresh meat! Correct meat. Who took the goats away? What did they do to the goats? You will recall that when a similar incident occurred in Port Harcourt, there was a big scramble for free beef, even the security officials abandoned their duty posts and struggled to carve some meat for their wives' soup pots. Who took the Bauchi goats away? Did Fola Adeola, the man who would have been killed because of goats enjoy the privilege of taking the unfortunate goats home for pepper soup, asun, and nkwobi to celebrate his survival? Did he enjoy the free meat? A high-powered investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the goat incident must unravel this!"
"You are a very stupid man, I am sorry to say. You think everything is a joke? You think if the incident had been worse than that; there would not have been serious trouble in the country? Knock on wood, if the goats had capsized the aircraft and there had been fatalities, you don't imagine that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) would have accused the PDP of sending the goats to eliminate ACN chieftains? Someone would have insisted that the goats were bleating: pee dee pee, pee deee peee, as they trotted onto the runway? And won't the Yoruba have insisted that there was a deliberate plan to eliminate a prominent Yoruba son?"
"You like to imagine things. Anything is possible in a Nigerian airport. Have you not seen people planting and harvesting vegetables right next to runways. And what is the big deal about ACN anyway or your brother Fola Adeola? People die every day because of this election."
"Precisely my point. People should not die because of elections, and definitely not at airports. If we have a Minister of Aviation, her priority should be to address those issues. Go round the country's airports. They are terrible. Take the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, that place is an eyesore. I was seeing a friend off yesterday, you know we couldn't find a place to sit down and wait for her flight to be announced. I went to the toilets, I couldn't spend a second; I rushed out. The odour alone could send you to the hospital for contracting an air-borne disease. And oh my God, the place is so hot. No air-conditioning. Other airports are worse. And I ask myself: what has Fidelia Njeze done?"
"No. I think you just don't like the woman. This is an anti-Igbo agenda. You people like to criticize Igbos. Just because an aircraft chartered by a Yoruba party deputy presidential candidate ran into goats in Bauchi, you want an Igbo woman punished, did Jonathan appoint her to go and mind goats and cows?"
"This is the problem with public debate in Nigeria. The so-called educated class stopped thinking a long time ago. I am raising serious questions about the aviation industry and one woman's incompetence, but here you are, ethnicizing it. Is it only the Yoruba that use airports? Don't Igbos also use Nigerian airports? If it pleases you, Kema Chikwe in retrospect looks like a very good Minister of Aviation. In her time, the air conditioning at the country's main airports worked. When one Omotoba got there, things stopped working. So, why can't your sister at least fix the air conditioners, fix the luggage carousels, arrange seating areas, do perimeter fencing of all the airports in the country, get FAAN and NCAAA to work, and move the aviation sector away from an entrenched rent-collection culture; I mean, can we have some common sense in the industry before people get killed for nothing?"
"Leave her alone. People always get killed for nothing in Nigeria. It is the system, not the Minister. You are criticizing Fidelia Njeze, you won't criticize your own brother, who went to beg Obasanjo."
"The ogidi child"
"You mean OGD?"
"You this kobokobo. He is not ogidi child. He is ogidi omo.
"You dey craze. Is Yoruba my language? Ogidi child, and ogidi omo. What is the difference? Okeke and Okereke. Okoro and Okoroafor. You think I don't have sense? I see you don't like to criticize your own people."
"Okay what has OGD done?"
"What has he not done? He went to beg Obasanjo. He prostrated. I read in the papers that he has asked his boys went to PPN to return immediately to PDP, and that he is now supporting the Obasanjo faction. What is that?"
"What is what?"
"What is your problem with that? Obasanjo is old enough to be his father. In Yorubaland, we prostrate to our fathers, we don't wake them up with a kick as some other Nigerians do."
"So is Ogidi going to prostrate to all the people he has quarreled with? Is he going to withdraw the cases in court against the PDP and INEC?"
"My friend, you don't understand politics. Things are not always what they seem. As a politician, you must learn to stoop to conquer. And when you lose, you can change strategy. And then re-strategize, and don't tell me please that goats on the Bauchi runway and lack of air-conditioning and seating space in our airports is a strategy. I don't want to hear that.
"Strategy? Tell me. But since you know it all, I'll like to hear something about principles."
"Go and sit down. Okay, Ogidi went to beg Obasanjo and Jonathan was able to visit Ogun state and have a successful outing. The civilized and united people of Ogun state did not stone him. His helicopter landed, his vehicles arrived, no goats stood in their way, no area boys harassed anybody. Nobody threw bombs. It is the triumph of the OGD strategy at work. Nigerians don't understand politics. And you don't. You obviously don't know jack about politics. You see, politics is very complex, it is not a straight route..."
"And sometimes, it can be a tsunami"
"Don't joke about that please. What is happening in Japan is not a joke. As a human being, I feel deeply pained."
"It can't happen here."
"Don't say that. We are all part of a common humanity, and the world is dealing with the challenge of climate change. It is an issue on which Nigeria should be pro-active."
"Nigeria is covered by the Blood of Jesus. No weapon fashioned by any demon or principality or agent of the Devil shall prosper against us."
"Are you okay? I am talking science, you are quoting something else".
"Blood of Jesus. I rebuke every spirit of Tsunami, I bind the spirit of climate change and cast it into hell-fire."
"All of this, just because I said Nigeria should try and learn from what is happening in Japan? To move Nigeria forward, we obviously have to worry about the goats in human skin who are no different from the goats on the runway."
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing?"
"Helloo ooo oh."
"Can you come back to reality zone? I think the biggest tragedy that has befallen this country is how some of its so-called elite have ended up on the religious runway. You can't have a proper discussion without the entire thing being reduced to either ethnicity or religion. The latter is almost worse than the former. Just look at you. With all your brilliance, when you start this your thing about being an Igbo nationalist and being a Christian, I simply lose you. And yet you are a fine human being and a good person."
"You are insulting me because I said your brother prostrated to OBJ? Go and remind him that Atiku also begged the Ebora oh."
"There is a difference between a son and a rival."
"Obasanjo dey laugh o. Me sef, I dey laugh oh."
"Laughter can make somebody lose his teeth oh."
"Talking seriously now, looks like Gaddafi is winning the battle in Libya."
"In the long run, he will lose the war."
"He has been demystified. For him, the countdown to exit has begun. It is a question of when?"
"And Laurent Gbagbo in Cote d'Ivoire?"
"Same of the same."
"Very much like Nigerian politics"
"In Niger state, the police stopped a rally of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). The Police don't want change. In Ebonyi state, the Governor Martin Elechi reportedly stopped the ANPP from launching its presidential campaign in Abakaliki; in Benue, the PDP state government forced the ACN to shift its planned rally from Makurdi to Gboko."
"Our politicians have gone mad again. Imagine throwing stones at the President's convoy, an act bothering gingerly in my view on the fringes of sedition and treasonable felony."
"Hey, sedition is dead law."
"But the Presidency is a living institution. When next anybody stones the President's convoy, I give the security agencies the permission to fire on sight."
"True, true, craze dey worry you. Ogbnge craze."
"Me, I dey kampe. All the craze people are in government and in politics."
"And their friends are in journalism."
"At your own risk."
"No. No. The presidency according to one story is worried that there is a plan by the opposition to use the media to discredit the 2011 polls. People believe you journalists are part of the problem."
"Who is a journalist?"
"People like you."
"These days we are all journalists, you know?. You don't need more than a cell phone, ipad, or a computer. With a cell phone, you can take photographs, you can send bulk mail, you can create news; with a computer or ipad, you can create fiction and impose it on the world wide world, and get accolades for being cynical. So?"
"Knowing the truth is becoming more and more difficult"
"How do we build a country without certain truths"
"Well, you can answer that. That's an assignment for your Blood of Jesus".
"The Blood of Jesus is about..."
"Please, I have to take my drugs, Looks like my malaria fever is about to relapse. Please. Please."
"I cover you with the Blood of Jesus. Blood of Jesus... sha baba ababba ra, ebora massahha ah ...Father, I beseech you.. for you are the Lord of Lords, rock of refuge"